In 1992, Bill Clinton became president of the United States, and Hurricane Andrew hit the coast of Florida and became one of the costliest hurricanes in history. In addition, the first black female astronaut spent a week orbiting the Earth in the space shuttle Endeavour. Also in 1992, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico was signed.
Elsewhere in the world, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, triggering a 3-year war among Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. The European Union was founded with the signing of the Maastricht treaty on Feb. 7, 1992. In India that year, widespread rioting occurred with Hindus fighting Muslims, leaving over 2,000 dead.
A world-changing event was the 1992 vote to end apartheid in South Africa. On a sadder note in Africa, Somalia was in the midst of a countrywide famine due to a civil war; a U.S.-led United Nations humanitarian intervention occurred in 1992. Forces withdrew the following year.
In 1992, the Soviet Union officially came to an end. The country renamed itself as the Russian Federation, and the privatization of the many state-owned businesses began and was an immediate success. The Communist government in Afghanistan, backed by the Soviets, also ended in 1992.